Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life comes to meet you

A friend recently used this phrase, as we discussed some important changes I had experienced: "Life comes to meet you, doing more than you expect." This verse came to mind - here in "The Message" version:

"God is able to do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does not do this by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." Ephesians 3:20

So dream wildly - and life will come to meet you. Even better: God will be at work...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The onion in the trolley

The weighed, labelled onion was in the small shopping trolley, and unguarded. I only turned my back for a moment, to get the tomatoes weighed - and it was gone. Both trolley and onion had vanished...
I spotted a pair of shoppers with a trolley I was sure they hadn't brought into the store with them. Had I seen them, from the corner of my eye, taking mine? I pursued them, and then stopped short, embarrassed: there was no onion! It couldn't be mine...But before I could express my apology, the younger of the two men was blushing and rushing off, to the laughter of the older one. He returned, onion in hand (fetched from where he had discarded it), and apologized. We all laughed and smiled, and it was clearly a matter for much joking between the two. We met up again in the checkout line, and the older man teased the younger, saying he should be paying for my onion he'd stolen. The younger one teased right back, saying how much trouble father-in-laws could get you into...
The onion in the trolley is destined to become a fond point of amusement between them, I am sure.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cloud burst!

Yesterday's cloud burst here in Somerset West took us by surprise with its force and the swiftness with which roads became almost impassable. Main links between areas such as schools and Main Road were suddenly awash on both sides, leaving just one lane open down the middle. Those of us without 4x4s had to crawl along, while bigger vehicles forged ahead, thumbing their noses (or tyres) at us lesser conveyances. Arriving at a friend's home to drop off an item, I found his property inaccessible: the water was lapping the curb, and rushing through his garden and out into the road behind. His back wall has gaps at ground level for just this purpose. 
By the time I had reached school, navigated the flooded gutter, and fetched two children, the waters had completely drained away. The weather has flexed its muscles; we wait uneasily for the next bruising round.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Don't keep it too long

Today I had to throw away some previously-useful things. They had been kept for years by someone, then passed on to me. Some were envelopes, now stuck shut. Some were labels, whose glue was no longer sticky, leaving them useless.

Don't hoard things, or keep them to yourself. Have you been blessed with an excess of something? - share it, give it away.

How often do you think of doing good, but never put the thought into action? How many such ideas have lost their "stickiness"?

Resolve with me not to keep things - and ideas, Holy Spirit promptings - too long.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Freedom Day

"Free, free, I'm free indeed, for Jesus has delivered me, oh, oh..." This fun, vibey song has been echoing through my head all day. We had a vibrant time of worship - singing, dancing - at church yesterday, celebrating our country's Freedom Day and our own freedom in Christ. What fun! It has lifted my spirits.

So, where were you 20 years ago, on our Freedom Day? I've asked a few friends, and got some interesting responses. One friend was called up on Army Reservist duty; another, working at a game reserve, spent the day taking staff to vote and making sure they understood the process that was new to them. I spent the day being an election official at a local high school - painting fingernails with the ultra-violet, scanning hands, handing out ballot papers... So many different experiences. I'd love to hear your comments about your experience of Freedom Day.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Garden quotes

In these warm Autumn days, gardening is a pleasure once more. I hope this quote from Houzz website inspires you:

"The essential thing is not so much that children should grow up (although they must), as that grown-ups should not lose altogether the innocent sensual pleasures that we knew at our beginning. We should be able to find our way back to the bright discovery days of the world as it was perceived and known in childhood, when every day brought new things to experience and learn … There is nothing like a garden to stimulate and satisfy each and all of our senses.”
— Allen Lacy, The Inviting Garden

Among the Stars

Here is the last page of "Among the Stars". It is being published this week, in a limited run. All credit goes to Anya Kotzuba, the gifted illustrator.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Does serendipity come in threes?

Friday was a good day.
This was the first good day in a long line of tired, dejected, depressed days.
Friday was good, all day.

First, there were the truckers.
I was listening for the sound of the courier's van, but heard instead the loud diesel of a large truck. It was an articulated brick-lorry, and the driver was lost. After much puzzling, using my cell phone's map and their printed one, we found the right place. Then followed the discussion of how to get THERE from HERE. Eventually, they drove off. (The courier never arrived, but no matter.)

Next came a meeting with an acquaintance. I could have avoided this, as the man in question is partially-sighted. I could have chosen to sit near him, but not struck up a conversation. Instead, I chose (heeded the prompt) to say hello; and we ended up praying together about a job interview he was to have in an hour's time.

The bell rang, and we went off to meet our respective sons from school. Thus, close on the heels of the man and his seeing-eye dog came Alexander and his "ice-cream" day. He had had a week and more of struggling with unhappiness at going to school each day. This morning had been better; and now he came out of school to say it had been a good day, like ice-cream.
And then, some time later - and I know this is number four - came the dressing gown. As we exited one shop, we passed another, and on the sale-rack outside were hanging some ladies' dressing-gowns. I exclaimed, we looked - and another passer-by stopped too, drawn by our interest. She was delighted at the find; and we were delighted in her delight.

Serendipity comes in threes, or fours, or as many times as you care to recognize it. And yes, I firmly believe it comes from God.

This amazing tree grows its fruit right on its trunk. It is some kind of wild fig in appearance, about the same size, and much loved by the ants!

Retracing my steps

Where WAS that flower? If I could only find it, things would be ok. When I bent down to look at it, that must have been when it happened - when the remote-control fell out of my small top pocket...

After a happy walk with my dog, just down the road, round the field, and back, I arrived home. Reaching into my pocket ... the remote wasn't there. I went cold. This was the access to my home. Without it, I couldn't get in; worse still, maybe someone else COULD get in...

Now I had to decide: Do I retrace my steps, or go straight to where it should logically be, at the place where I bent to look at the unusual flower?

Deciding on the latter, I hurried back to the field. Only the dog was unworried - she was expecting another run! I walked along, trying to find the spot where I'd seen that strange flower... The problem was, this was a field FULL of spring flowers, none very bright or tall, each ground-hugging and very like its neighbor. I scoured the area; no flower (at least, not the RIGHT flower); and no small, black, plastic remote. Dejected, I thought again.
"Retrace your steps" said my inner voice, persistent. I retraced them backwards from where I was. Nothing.
"Do it again."
I did. What else was there to do? This time, I followed my first, original, pre-loss route. Finally, as I was about to give up, there it was: a small black object in the green grass.

Retrace your steps. Logic is not always the answer.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Garden jewel

This spider is about 5mm across, plus legs. When the sun catches it, it sparkles, the colours turning metallic. I took about 20 photos, trying to capture its dazzling patterns and the sheer perfection of it...

I identified it later as a Silver Marsh Spider.